Summer Arts, CSUMB, July 5, 2013

Two sax masters & guitarist Eliot Fisk

By Rob Klevan

There were plenty of musical fireworks taking place over the Independence Day Weekend at CSU Summer Arts.  Friday evening, July 5, featured two of the world’s premier classical saxophonists in an eclectic program of music written for saxophone including Bruce Broughton’s Remembrance, Pavane by Piet Swerts, Caprice En Forme De Valse, by Paul Bonneau, and Pedro Iturralde’s Suite Hellenique. Doug Masek is a Vandoren Elite Artist who is in high demand as a performer, teacher, and lecturer. In addition to a career as a recording artist, he is currently on the faculty at USC’s Thornton School of Music. Todd Rewoldt, a Selmer Artist, is a professor of music at San Diego State University and a member of the critically acclaimed SWARMIUS Ensemble. Interestingly enough, in his younger days, Rewoldt was a professional skateboarder and punk band bassist. Both artists convinced the audience that the saxophone is something much more than a jazz instrument and that when played by a true master can be the aesthetic equal in beauty and tone to other classical instruments.

The following evening, July 6th, the World Theater was the site of another outstanding performance hosted by Summer Arts. Grammy nominated classical guitarist Eliot Fisk treated the audience to a wide array of works written or transcribed for guitar. Fisk, a student of the late, great Andres Segovia, is a prolific recording artist with a fiery and virtuosic performance style EliotFisk_JesseWeiner_2_previewthat is both captivating to hear and fascinating to watch. No one could diminish his performance for it was nearly flawless and rife with emotion and bravura. The only negative comment I heard came from one audience member who said it was difficult to hear Mr. Fisk’s verbal explanations of the pieces being performed. Although this was not the case from my vantage point, I do think that a microphone for commentary could have been helpful. Of special note musically was the performance of the J.S. Bach third cello suite, the series of sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, and American Bouquet by George Rochberg a piece which the composer dedicated to the artist. Fisk currently teaches at the New England Conservatory in Boston and is also a professor of music at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Posted July 15, 2013